Thinking Aloud … (But You Can Join In!)

I went down to Salford today to do some printing. I’m trying to add some more images to my Salford Quays series. There are some early ones on my website. (Yes, I know it needs a major update! Stop nagging, will you?)

As it says there, “I like to use colours which produced successful prints in the first half of the twentieth century.” What this means is I like to find Art Deco and similar prints and posters and use the colours from them. For this week’s printing session, I found several prints I liked and then used the eyedropper tool in Photoshop to sample the colours into swatches. Here are three of about two dozen I produced:


Art Deco Print by Erte


Advertising Poster by Tom Purvis


Art Deco Print by Georges Barbier

I finally chose the left hand and second from right in the third (Barbier) swatch for my blotch prints with a dark blue-grey final overprint. (I don’t think the brown in the swatch would work.)

Now I was wondering (this is the thinking aloud bit in the title of this post!), if I were to try and implement the suggestions from Gary Bolyer of starting and developing online relationships with potential customers by using a newsletter, would an ebook of such pictures and colour swatches be of interest to people? I was initially thinking purely in terms of artists who might think like me that if those colours have worked together before for someone else, they may work for them. However, this afternoon, Jeni jokingly said “I wonder if there’s something for my living room!” I know it was meant as a joke but some people might use them as the basis for other types of colour scheme including home decoration. What do you think? (This is the ‘but you can join in’ bit of the title now!)


About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website
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6 Responses to Thinking Aloud … (But You Can Join In!)

  1. Sounds like a very interesting idea, John. I really like the swatches (and posters) above.

  2. I think a lot of people are already doing this via the Dulux harmonious colour swatches that you can get at B&Q. I’ve known some artists who nick handfuls of them to produce collages, it saves them having to buy paint!

  3. clinock says:

    So impressed and mystified…

  4. Excellent swatch collection. I’m a fan of the last series. Kuler is one of my favorite web apps; have you tried it? The explore option is fantastic.

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